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- Information gap: This technique is one of the easiest and most interesting forms of communicative activity in the speaking lesson. Information-gap activities include a tremendous variety of techniques in which the objectives is to convey or to request i

- Information gap: This technique is one of the easiest and most interesting forms of communicative activity in the speaking lesson. Information-gap activities include a tremendous variety of techniques in which the objectives is to convey or to request i

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- Opinion exchange: Opinion exchange is a difficult technique for students to deal

with at the beginning levels of proficiency, but by the intermediate level, certain techniques

can effectively include the exchange of various opinions.

2.2. The reality of the the study

2.2.1. Background of the study

Our school has got 10 teachers of English aged from between 35 to 55. Almost of

them have at least ten years of teaching experience.

Our current material of teaching English is the text-book Tieng Anh 10, 11, 12 by

Education Publishing House. This text-book is divided into sixteen units, each of them has

been divided into five parts in which “listening and speaking” part aims at providing

students the different topics and structures through listening and reading and requires them

to practice speaking skills. In each semester, students have to learn English in 3 periods per

week.

It can be seen that communication is the goal of English language learning. Its

purpose is to help students develop their communicative competence. This makes teaching

and learning to improve students’ speaking skills to be an important part in any English

course. Like in many other schools, English teachers at Ham Rong High School find out the

benefits of using pair and group work and spend much time to apply these techniques to

develop students’ speaking skills. However, we have some problems such as: large classes;

noises; lazy and passive students. The major concerns of this research are find out the useful

techniques for organizing pair work and group work to help teachers and students in

teaching and learning speaking English.

2.2.2. Methodology

Participants

The subjects of the study are 4 teachers of English who teach English for the grade

10 students of Ham Rong High School. They range from 35 to 45 years of age. The grade

10 students were randomly chosen from over 500 students of 12 classes.

Research instruments

The instruments used to collect data was questionnaire and interview for the teachers

and the students to get information about using pair work, group work in speaking classes.

The first are the questionnaires for the students including 10 questions written in

Vietnamese, was administered to 110 students.

2.2.3. Data analysis

The data of the study was analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. As for

quantitative analysis, we used descriptive statistics to quantify the data in form of charts and

figures. The qualitative data were obtained from the interview.

Table 1: Students’ opinions on speaking skill



Questions



Options

a. It’s a compulsory subject in the curriculum



1



2



b. Learning speaking English is to

communicate

c. Speaking English is necessary for your

future job

d. Learning speaking English is your interest

a. very interested

b. interested



Numbers Percent

of students

%

16



14,5



56



68,2



90



81,8



20

19

81



18,2

17,3

73,6

4



c. not very interested

d. no interested



10

0



9,1

0



The statistics in table 1 shows the students’ opinions on speaking skill. It can clearly

be seen that most of the students asked (81,8 %) say that speaking is necessary for their

future job and 73,6 % of them are interested in speaking skill while little of them (14,5 %)

says they learn Speaking skill because English is compulsory at their school. Some students

find English really interesting while there are 56 out of 110 students (62,8 %) who want to

learn speaking skill just to communicate. About 18,2% of them stated that English is their

interest. It means that speaking English is so important for most of the students.

Table 2: Students’ opinions on the way to learn speaking skill



Questions



Options/



Numbers of

students

23

92

16



Percent %



1. Individual work

20,9

2. Pair work and group work

83,6

3

3. whole class

14,5

4. answering the teachers’

33

30

questions

5.listening and taking notes

45

40,9

As can be seen from the table 2, (83,6%) of the students asked said that they like

working in pairs and groups, whereas they had very little favor for working individually

(20,9%) , only 14,5% of them liked working in whole class. 30% of students enjoyed

answering the teacher’ questions and 40,9% liked listening and taking note . From this, it

can be understood that most of the students see the importance of working in pair and group

for the better speaking skill. This also means that pair work and group work are surely the

most suitable activities for the speaking skill.

The pie chart below shows the students’ opinions on the use of pair work, group work

in speaking class



Not very surprising information from table is that the students (85 %) affirm that the

teachers in their school often use the pair work and group work in the speaking lesson very

often because it is compulsory that the teachers implement this to follow the book activities

planned in the teacher’s book and may be for the students’ future language competence.

This is of great use in helping the students to communicate with each other.

Table 3: Students’ opinions on the impact of pair and group work



Questions

5



Options

a. It increases the students’ speaking

time.

b. It promotes students’ independence

and cooperation.



Numbers of

students



Percent

%



82



74,5



80



72,7



5



d. Shy and passive students have more

76

69

chance of expressing themselves

c. It improves students’ motivation.

85

77,3

e. Students can learn from each other.

80

72,7

It was obvious that almost all the students ( more than 70%) found that pair work and

group work were so beneficial for their speaking skill that they can speak more in English,

they can be much more confident and they also have chance to express themselves, their

independence, cooperation and motivation in speaking were improved. Regarding the

benefit of learning from each other of group work, 72,7% (80 out of 110) the students stated

that they learnt each other so much.

The chart follow shows the students’ recommendation for the success of pair and

group work

Chart 2: Activities students wished teachers to select for pair and group work



As can be seen in Chart 3, all of the students (100%) chose role-playing, games,

information gap, discussing, interviewing and opinion exchange to be their favorite

activities. Problem solving was the choice of 75% of the students. And Drama and projects

received only 10% and 20% of the students respectively.

Table 4: Students’ wishes about the partners in pair and group work

Questions

Numbers

Percent

Options/

of students

%

a. Students of the same English proficiency

35

31,8

level.

b. Students of higher English proficiency

40

36,4

level

c. Students of lower English proficiency

7

10

9,1

level.

d. Students sitting next or near to each other.

13

11,8

e. Students of the same interest.



12



10,9



About the students they preferred working with in pairs and in groups, most of the

students wanted to work with the students who were at the same level or higher level of

proficiency. Working with the people they really liked was also preferred by 10,9%. Also,

some of them (11,8%) liked working with the ones at the same table. However, few of them

(9,1%) liked working with the students who were worse at English.

Table 5: Students’ recommendation for the things the teacher should do



6



Questions



Options/

a. Give clear instruction with

examples

b. provide necessary vocabulary and

functional language

c. Go round monitoring students’

performance and help if necessary



Numbers of

students



Percent %



110



100



45



40,9



34



30,9



8

d. Minimize teacher’s talking time

110

100

e. not to interrupt when students’

67

60,9

talking time

f. Always provide feedback, praise

110

100

One

and encourage the students.

very

g. Others

6

5,4

important thing which helps to improve group work activities is to get the students ideas

about what the teachers should do about that. It is quite clear that all of them (100 %)

wanted their teachers to minimize his/her talking time, to create a competitive atmosphere,

to give feedback, praise and encouragement and give clear instruction. But 60,9% wanted

their teachers not to interrupt when they made mistakes. 40,9 % would like their teacher to

give enough necessary vocabulary and functional language for their activities.

The bar chart bellow shows the students’ appreciation the improvement of their

learning speaking English after the 1st semester of using pair work and group work.

Chart 3: Students’ response to pair work and group work activities (Question 9)



The data from Chart 3 showed that more than half of the students (65.5 %) were

interested in pair work and group work activities. 18.2% of them even were very interested

in working in pairs and in groups. This showed that pair work and group work could attract

students and increased their interest in the lesson as well.

On the other hand, 10.9% of students were not very interested and only 6 out of 110

students found pair work and group work activities boring.

From that, we can see the reasons why students don’t like working in pair and group

are mainly on the ways of organizing pair and group work. Therefore, it’s very necessary

that teachers have to try their best to design those activities effectively.

After the first semester of learning speaking English through pair work and group

work, the following results were conducted from questionnaires and interview. 87 out of

110 students (79.1%) strongly agreed that working in pair and group could help their

interest and participation in learning increased. The reasons are because of many benefits of

pair work and group work, such as they felt more confident to speak, they helped each other

7



to solve teacher’s problems, or they have more chance to speak… 9.1% of students said that

those activities were not useful for learning speaking as we can in the result of Question 9.

On the other hand, some of students (11.8%) showed the other opinions that pair work and

group work were either helpful or unhelpful. However, in the summary, it’s true that the pair

work and group work are the beneficial techniques in learning speaking English at Ham

Rong High School

For the benefit of pair and group work activities, 100% of them claimed that pair and

group work were very beneficial and helped students to increase the students’ speaking

time, to promote students’ independence and cooperation, to improves students’ motivation,

to decrease the teacher speaking time and helps shy and passive students have more chance

of expressing themselves and learn from each other. They also gave some more benefits

such as: to creates exciting atmosphere as it lends itself to game-like activities which frees

the teacher from his/her hard role of “an expert who always lectures”, This proved that these

two techniques could increase students’ participation and interest in the class.

2.3. Teachers’ implementation of pair work, group work in current classes as teaching

experience

Regarding the activities the teachers chose for pair and group work, Role playing,

Games, Interview, Information gap, Discussing, Opinion exchange are the most frequently

in which discussing helps to elicit the students’ ideas, background knowledge, role play

helps to make the students understand the nature of English and games help them to do the

group work activities without any pressure and stress. The students may think that they are

playing not just learning. 75 % of the teachers used Projects, problem- solving and only

25% of teachers used drama because they thought that those activities was only suitable for

the high level of English proficiency and took much time to prepare.

Question 7 deals with the way the teacher created the students in pair and group. The

teachers shared with the students the same opinions which didn’t like to group students of

low proficiency. However, they didn’t share the opinions of grouping students sitting next to

or near each other, 100 % of the teachers responded that they always grouped their students

sitting next to or near each other into pairs and groups as they explained that it can save

time, while only few of students likes that. Most of students liked working with the partners

of the same English proficiency level and higher English proficiency level, but only half of

teachers often grouped their students on that way.

Table 7: Things the teachers often do during pair and group work

Number of

Questions

Options

Percent %

teachers

8

a. Give clear instruction with

examples

4

100

b. provide necessary vocabulary and

functional language



4



100



c. Go round the class and help if

necessary



4



100



2



50



3



75



d. Minimize teacher’s talking time

e. not to interrupt when students’

talking time



8



f. Always provide feedback, praise

and encourage the students.

g. Do nothing



4



100



0



0



h. Others

2

50

In this table, question 8 looks into other things the teachers used during group work

activities. The things like giving clear instructions, going round the class and giving help if

necessary, providing vocabulary and functional language and providing feedback, praise

and encourage the students received 100% ideas from the teachers. From the interview, they

said that those activities were helpful to students when working in pairs and groups. Of

course, none of teacher do nothing at the time students working. Half of them chose

minimize teacher’s talking time and not to interrupt when students’ talking time. Some

others ideas are standing in front of the class and observe or remaining in the teacher’s seat

and observe or sometimes can work in pair or group as a member.

Teacher’s appreciation on how useful pair work and group work are to improve

student’s learning speaking English after the 1st semester

From the result of question 9 and the direct interview, when asked about their

students’ attitude to pair work and group work activities, 100% the teachers said that their

students were interested in these activities, even 75% of them said that students were very

interested. This showed that pair work and group work were the favorite activities of

students in speaking lesson. Most students found pair work and group work activities

interesting, which made them participate more in the class.

It can be seen that, teachers and students at Ham Rong High School shared the same

opinion that pair work and group work could help students’ learning speaking English

improved in term of interest and participation in learning process. It meant that these

techniques are helpful to both teachers and students.

2.4. The effectiveness of the teaching experience

2.4.1. How pair work and group work are used in English speaking classes of the 10

grade students at Ham Rong High School?

As can be seen from the survey, it was unmistakable that the two techniques: pair

work and group work were often used in speaking classes at Ham Rong High School. Both

of teachers and students agreed the appropriation of using pair and group work in speaking

lesson. This proved the importance of pair work and group work techniques to teaching and

learning process. However, some students did not like working in pairs and in groups

because of their low level of proficiency. Instead of discussing the problems given, they

talked about others in their mother tongue. And most of the teachers in the survey said that

they designed their own ways to make the group work activities suitable to the students,

these activities were also used but rarely.

The following lesson plan shows how pairwork and group work are used in a

speaking lesson.

Unit 1: A day in the life of….

Period 3:

PART B: SPEAKING

Time: 45 minutes

I. AIMS: Training Ss to improve speaking skill.

II. OBJECTIVES: By the end of this lesson, students will be able to work in pairs to ask

and answer about one's daily activities using a timetable or pictures and they can talk about

their daily routines.

III. TEACHING AIDS: textbooks and handouts…

IV. PROCEDURE:

9



Stages & Content

A.WARM – UP:

A

B

1. Civic education

a. hóa học

2. Technology

b. Vật lí

3. Maths

c. Tin học

4. Literature

d. văn học

5. Physics

e. Địa lí

6. Biology

f. Giáo dục CD

7. Chemistry

g. giáo dục thể chất

8. Physical education h. Lịch sử

9. Geography

i. Cơng nghệ

10. History

j. Tốn

11. Informatics

k. Sinh học

Answers: 1-f ; 2-i ; 3 - j; 4 - d; 5 - b; 6 - k;

7 - a; 8 - g; 9 - e; 10 - h; 11 - c.

B. PRE – SPEAKING:

Review structures of the present simple and

the way of telling time.

Ex: 7.30: seven thirty or half past seven

...



T’s activities



Ss’ activities



- Ask sts to close their books.

- Deliver the handout.

- Ask them to match one item

in column A with one item in

column B.

- Ask them to work in groups

in 2 minutes, then check this

exercise in chorus.

- Ask sts to read aloud the

names of these subjects in

chorus.



- Group work



- Introduce briefly what sts are

going to do in this lesson.

- Ask sts about the verb tense

to use in talking about daily

routines.

- Remind sts of some rules of

the present simple tense.

- Recall the way of telling

time.

- Write some more examples

and ask sts to read aloud.

C. WHILE – SPEAKING:

- Ask sts to open their books.

+ Task 1: Quan is a tenth-grade student. He - Introduce the requirement of

goes to school every morning. Now, look at the task.

his weekly timetable ask and answer

- Ask sts to look at the

questions by using the information from the timetable in the textbook and

timetable.

read through it.

T: What time does Quan have a Civic

- Do the first example with a

Education lesson on Monday?

student.

S: He has a Civic Education lesson at

- Ask the whole class to read

7.15a.m

these sentences again.

T: What lesson does Quan have at 7.15 a.m - Ask two pairs to read again.

on Monday?

- Ask sts to work in pairs in 10

S: At 7.15 on Monday he has a Civic

minutes to ask and answer

Education lesson.

about Quan basing on the

timetable.

- Move round to help sts and

to correct any mistakes if

there are.

- Ask some pairs to report

- Listen and give remarks.

+ Task 2:

- " Quan is at school in the morning, and

- Introduce task 2



- Listen and

answer.



- Open the

textbook.

- Listen to the

teacher.

- Look at the

timetable and

try to

understand it.

- Work in pairs



- Look at

pitures in task

2 and think of

10



what does he do in the afternoon? Please

look at pictures in task 2"

T: ( look at picture 1) What does Quan do

at 2.00 p.m?

Answer: Quan gets up at 14:00 p.m. At

14:15p.m he studies or reads books. At

16:30p.m he watches TV. Then at 17:00p.m

, he cycles to the stadium and plays football

with his friends at 17:15 p.m. At 18:30p.m

he returns home. At 18:45, he takes a

shower, and he has dinner with his family

at 19:00 p.m. At 20:00p.m he does his

exercises.

D. POST – SPEAKING:

+ Task 3:

Tell your classmates about your daily

routine.

Expected ideas

- In the morning

- In the afternoon

- In the evening



- Ask sts to work in pairs to

ask and answer about Quan's

activities.

- Do the first example.

- Ask sts to work in the same

way, remind sts to use the

present simple tense with the

third person.

- Move round to control the

activity and to help sts if

necessary.

- After sts have discussed, ask

a student to talk about all

Quan's activities in the

afternoon.

- Ask sts to think about

themselves, and then work in

small groups to tell their

friends about their daily

routines. - Remind sts that

they are using the present

simple with the first person.

- Move round to check the

activities and to make sure

that sts are working

effectively.

- Ask one or two sts to report

in front of the whole class.

- Check and give remarks.



E. HOMEWORK:

- Write a paragraph ( about 80 words) about - Give homework

your daily routines in workbook.



the phrases to

talk about

Quan's

activities.

- Work in pairs



- Work in

groups

- Think about

theit daily

activities and

talk to their

friends.

- Try to use

English to talk.



- Listen & take

notes



In order to manage students working in pair or groups, the teachers often went round,

and observed the class. They went to each pair, group and helped them to correct the

mistakes, even translated the words into English for them and helped them participate

actively in their work.

To make pair and group work activities work effectively, the teachers also selected

the task carefully, gave clear instructions, grouped the students appropriately, set the focus

and objectives of the activity, and praised and encouraged the students during that time.

They also often set the time limit, provided feedback when having enough time but never let

the students choose their own topic.

From the result of interviewing teachers and students, most of them agreed that

learning speaking English were improved after the 1 st semester of using pair work and group

work. Firstly, pair work and group work activities gave students more opportunities to

11



practice speaking English. In other words, students would get more involved in the lesson.

In addition, students could help each other and learn from each other in pairs or in groups. A

large number of students revealed that they preferred working in pairs and groups as they

were able to learn a lot from their partners especially the ones who were at higher level of

proficiency. Therefore, pair work and group work activities could get almost all students in

the class to contribute to the lesson. Their participation in speaking lesson would be

increased.

The research results also showed that most of students were interested in working in

pairs and in groups. This indicated that students’ interest was increased when they took part

in pair work and group work activities. They often felt active and free as they were put in

pairs and groups to work together. They became self-centered in their learning while their

teacher worked as a consultant or a supervisor. Working in pairs and groups, the students

could express their opinions without being afraid of losing their face. Thus, they felt

comfortable in the class. Therefore, their desire to learn the target language would be raised.

However, teachers should try to organize pair work and group work activities more

effective. Teachers should provide the students with necessary vocabulary and clear

instruction. Also, the group size should include from 3 to 5 students who were at different

level of proficiency. Sometimes, teachers could give students a chance to choose their

partners, which might increase their participation and interest in the task given.

2.4.2. What are useful techniques of pair work and group work to the 10 grade

students in learning speaking English?

The first common activity is using games. Games have been shown to have

advantages and effectiveness in learning English in various ways. First, games bring in

relaxation and fun for students, thus help them learn and retain new words and new

structures more easily. Second, games usually involve friendly competition and they keep

learners interested. These create the motivation for learners of English to get involved and

participate actively in the learning activities. Third, games bring real world context into the

classroom, and enhance students' use of English in a flexible, communicative way.

However, it’s important that games can help teachers to attract students communicating in a

pleasant, entertaining way, thus leading toward the goal of improving learners'

communicative competence. Therefore, using games is one of the most suitable activities in

speaking lessons, especially to the students of low level of English proficiency at Ham Rong

High School.

Secondly, role-play is an effective to use in teaching speaking English. Role play is

very important in teaching speaking because it gives students an opportunity to practice

communicating in different social contexts and in different social roles. In addition, it also

allows students to be creative and to put themselves in another person’s place for a while.

Role play can improve learners’ speaking skills in any situation, and helps learners to

interact. That was the reason why both of teachers and students at Ham Rong High School

12



chose role-play as a suitable activity in teaching – learning speaking. Especially for the shy

learners, role play helps by providing a mask, where learners with difficulty in conversation

are liberated.

The following lesson plan demonstrates how the teachers at Ham Rong High School

apply role-play technique in teaching speaking:

Unit 3: People’s background

PART B: SPEAKING

Time: 45 minites

I. AIMS: Training Ss to improve speaking skill.

II. OBJECTIVES: By the end of this lesson, students will be able to talk about their

background and know how to ask about other people’s background.

III. TEACHING AIDS: textbooks…

IV. PROCEDURE:

Stages & Content

T’s activities

Ss’ activities

A.WARM – UP:

Brainstorming

- Ask sts to close their books. - Individually

What information will tell you about

- Ask them to brainstorm all

work

somebody’s background?

sorts of information which tell

* Answer: family, education,

about somebody’s

experience…

background.

B. PRE – SPEAKING:

Work in pairs and find out the questions

that you can ask when you want to know

about somebody’s background.

Answers

Family:

How many people are there in your

family?

What does your father do?

Education:

Where did you study at high school?

What subjects do you like best?

What degree do you have?

Experience:

How long have you worked as a doctor/

teacher..?

What experience do you have?



- Ask Ss to discuss the

questions that can be used to

get information for each item,

then calls on some Ss to give

questions for each item

- Give answers.



- Work in

pairs.



13



WHILE – SPEAKING:

Imagine you are a journalist. Use the cues

below to interview a classmate about his/

her background or that of a person he/ she

knows well. Change the role when you

have finished.

* Note: Before carrying out the

interview, Ss should study the items of

information carefully and find the

questions for each item.

Greeting: Good morning!

Date of birth: When were you born?

Place of birth: Where were you born?

Home: Where do you live?

Parents: Can you tell me about your

parents?

Brother(s): How many brothers/ sisters

do you have?

Primary school: Which primary school

did you go?

Schoolwork: Were you a member of any

clubs?

Favourite subject: What subject do you

like best?

Thanking: Thank you very much

D. POST – SPEAKING:

+ Task 3:

Tell your classmates about your daily

routine.



E. HOMEWORK:

- Write a paragraph ( about 80 words)

about your daily routines in workbook.

- Prepare the new lesson: LISTENING

- FOR BETTER SS: SEE APPENDIX



- Introduce the task

- Give questions for the

information items

- Ask Ss to draw a form by

themselves.

- Ask Ss to carry out the

interview in pairs.

- Go around the class and

offer help if necessary and to

make sure that all Ss are

working.



- Open the

textbook.

- Listen to the

teacher.

- Look at the

timetable and

try to

understand it.

- Work in pairs



- Look at

pitures in task

2 and think of

the phrases to

talk about

Quan's

activities.

- Work in pairs



- Ask Ss to work in groups

and talk about the person they

have known through interview

- Call on some Ss to give

small talk in front of the class

- Comment on Ss’

performance and make

necessary corrections.



- Work in

groups

- Think about

theit daily

activities and

talk to their

friends.

- Try to use

English to talk.



- Give homework



- Listen & take

notes



The third activity both of teachers and students of Ham Rong High School choose

are Interview. Students can conduct interviews on selected topics with various people. It is a

good idea that the teacher provides a rubric to students so that they know what type of

questions they can ask or what path to follow, but students should prepare their own

interview questions. Conducting interviews with people gives students a chance to practice

their speaking ability not only in class but also outside and helps them becoming socialized.

After interviews, each student can present his or her study to the class. Moreover, students

can interview each other and "introduce" his or her partner to the class.

14



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- Information gap: This technique is one of the easiest and most interesting forms of communicative activity in the speaking lesson. Information-gap activities include a tremendous variety of techniques in which the objectives is to convey or to request i

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